Diocese of London asks all livestreaming from church buildings to stop

(Photo: Unsplash/Anthony Delanoix)

The Diocese of London has asked certain clergy who were still able to livestream services from their buildings to stop for the time being.

It clarified advice on Tuesday for the "limited" number of clergy who live in homes directly adjoining their church buildings. 

London bishops had until now allowed vicars of the "very few churches" in the diocese that are accessible via an internal door from their home to pray privately inside the church buildings and livestream services there. 

This was an exception to the national guidance issued by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York asking for the suspension of public worship and the closure of church buildings during the lockdown. 

However, in a clarification, London bishops said that the exception was "being used cynically by some" to suggest that the diocese was ignoring advice from the Archbishops "or to push the boundaries of the guidelines". 

They are now asking that even clergy in these limited circumstances refrain from accessing their church buildings entirely as the coronavirus lockdown continues.

"This was never the intention. So, whilst it is painful to ask, we are asking the limited numbers of you to whom the above applied, to stop all live streaming from your church buildings for the time being," they wrote. 

"It feels extremely hard to ask this of you, this week of all weeks. But you will know that some people believe that being in our churches to stream, even if it is accessed by a door in your home, is encouraging others to want to travel to their church, and for others to ask for churches to be open to the public.

"We would not want to be seen to encourage any laxity in the requirement to stay indoors except for designated reasons, because this will save lives, and protect the NHS.

"We know this will be difficult for some and we want to thank you for all that you are doing, for the sacrifices you are making, along with the many others in the country at the moment, and for the way in which many have creatively streamed worship from your own homes."